Before we discuss the final aspect of your author platform - blogging - I want to highlight some social media mistakes to avoid to keep you on the straight and narrow...
1) Setting up a Twitter and Facebook profile and then not using it
Aim to visit your profile daily but limit the amount of time to between 30 minutes and 1 hour, at least in the beginning. Then it can be down to personal preference once you've established a routine. Post great content regularly and I guarantee you'll create a buzz, not just for yourself, but for your followers / audience too. If you can't get to a writing group, this is the next best thing - virtual socialising.
2) Only connecting with family and friends
The ultimate goal of social media is to raise your profile as a writer, so you must go beyond your family and friends circle and reach out to your target market. This will drive traffic to your website and book/s and people will see what you have to offer.
3) Constant self promotion
There's a well known rule with social media, the 90/10 rule - share something of value 90% of the time (great content that helps people) and promote yourself for the remaining 10%. Remember, people want to get to know you before they do business with you. You need to establish likeability and trust first.
4) No plan
Social media can become addictive or useless without a plan of action. You have to ask yourself the following: What do I want to get out of this? Who do I want to connect with? How am I going to connect with them? How am I going to establish myself as a credible writer? How will I brand myself? What content am I going to post? How often am I going to post it?
It may seem bizarre, but I have a blogging plan and I actually know what my next 100 blog posts are going to say. I haven't written them yet, but I know what content I'm using. You need to be thinking along the same lines. It really helps if you are trying to get into the habit of writing something every day.
5) Not tracking progress
I'm not purely running my website and blog for financial gain at the moment. I'm still establishing my parameters. However, this needs to be in the back of your mind if you're freelancing and need the income. You want to make things easy for yourself, so link your blog to all of your social media profiles and with 1 click you can potentially reach hundreds, if not thousands of people - more on this over the coming days when we take an in depth look at blogging. The golden rule is, if you can measure it, you can monetise it. It's good to keep an eye on how many people are visiting your website daily and where they are coming from. If you can see more traffic coming from Twitter for example, then you know to put more content to Twitter to build on this success - but also look to see why Facebook isn't working for you.
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.